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Hiring a Lawyer for the Board of Appeal

Massachusetts Registry News

I recently spoke with a client who is trying to hire a lawyer to get a hardship license. The only problem with his case is that he called me after he already went to the Board of Appeal without counsel and lost the appeal. The Board voted to affirm the suspension and it did not give him a re-apply date. This is the worst possible outcome at the RMV Board of Appeals. It means that the Board denied him a hardship license and that it is not interested in affording him another hearing on his hardship license request. When this happens, it is sometimes possible to file a Motion for Reconsideration or a request for a new hearing. However, in most cases, the person trying to obtain a hardship license is left with little recourse.

While it is possible to appeal the Board’s decision to Superior Court, when it comes to hardship licensing, these appeals are next to impossible to win. The law vests the Board of Appeals with wide latitude and discretion in deciding whether or not to grant a hardship license. Therefore, it is critical to have a well-prepared hardship license appeal. Those serious about obtaining hardship relief should appear before the Board with a lawyer who specializes in Registry of Motor Vehicles, Board of Appeal, and hardship license cases. Many general practitioners, and even most criminal defense lawyers, lack familiarity with how the Board operates and what it takes to win a hardship license appeal.

Remember, the time to hire a lawyer for your hardship license case or suspension appeal is before and not after your Registry or Board of Appeal hearing. It is much easier to prepare the case and win the appeal than it is to try to get out from under a denial. Once a hardship license is denied, it may be too late and you may have to serve your license suspension.

Many people believe, falsely, that it is possible to get a hardship license from the Mass. Registry of Motor Vehicles if the Division of Insurance Appeals Board denies them. The Registry will not handle a hardship license appeal once the case has been to the Board. Instead, the Registry of Motor Vehicles will respect the Board’s decision and refer the individual back to the Board of Appeal.

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